Andouille Sausage, Vidalia Onion, Broccoli, and Collard Greens Soup

Andouille Sausage, Vidalia Onion, Broccoli, and Collard Greens Soup (Serves 5-6)

I produce a pot of chicken broth every week when I cook a whole chicken and my freezer is maxed out with it. Chicken broth is too valuable to waste, so I am beginning to make a pot of soup every time I cook a whole chicken. Soups are typically a recipe of convenience for me as I use up whatever I have in the house. This week I had three links of Andouille sausage, the stalks from three heads of broccoli, two Vidalia onions that were becoming a bit soft, and a big bag of chopped collard greens. The result was very good!

Prep and Cook Time: 60-65 minutes

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (mine was about 4 pounds)
3 Andouille sausage links
3 heads of broccoli
2 Vidalia onions
Bag of chopped collard greens
Ground coriander
Garlic powder
Black pepper
Ground cumin
Turmeric
Salt

Directions: Remove chicken from packaging. Remove giblets (package including the heart, liver, and neck) from the body cavity. Freeze the giblets to use in making chicken stock later. Rinse chicken and add the whole bird to pressure cooker (alternate method noted below). Dust generously with salt, turmeric, ground coriander, garlic powder, ground cumin, and black pepper. Add enough water to submerge the chicken. In my case that was about 10 cups. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 20 minutes. Turn off heat under pressure cooker, use the slow-release method to bring pressure down, and remove top. Remove chicken from pressure cooker with tongs and transfer to a large mixing bowl. If the chicken falls apart, remove the pieces as best you can with tongs and scoop the rest out with a slotted spoon. Leave the broth in the pot while you continue. Use a pair of tongs to separate the chicken from the bones and skin and transfer the meat to another large bowl. Once you have all the chicken separated, pull the chicken apart with a pair of forks. Pack the chicken into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for use in other recipes later. Discard the bones and skin. Pour broth from pot into a large container, taking care to leave any remaining chunks of meat or skin in the pot and any sludge of spices. Clean pot and then return broth to the pressure cooker.

Meanwhile, wash broccoli and cut florets away from stalk and store in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for use in other recipes later. Cut off stalk ends and peel rough parts away from stalk with a knife. Cut stalks into 1.5 inch chunks. Use a food processor to chop chunks into a broccoli puree and then add puree to chicken broth in pot. Peel skin from onions and cut into chunks. Use a food processor to chop chunks into an onion puree and then add puree to chicken broth in pot. Chop sausage into bite-sized pieces and add to chicken broth in pot. Add 10 handfuls of collard greens to chicken broth in pot. The vegetables added to the pot need seasoning, so add a generous dusting of salt, garlic powder, ground cumin, and ground coriander. Lock top on pressure cooker. Increase heat to high. After achieving high pressure, reduce heat to the lowest level consistent with maintaining high pressure. Cook under high pressure for 15 minutes. Turn off heat under pressure cooker, use any release method you like to bring pressure down, and remove top. Dinner is served!

Notes: I added collard greens until I had a thick mix. You might add less greens or none at all if you want a thin soup. A big bowl of soup often serves as my entire meal, so I like mine thick and hearty.

I believe you can boil a whole chicken in a Dutch oven or stock pot for about 40 minutes and get about the same result as pressure cooking a whole bird 20 minutes. If you don’t want to cut your cooking time in half, try it.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it leaves you with material for additional meals – a few pounds of pulled chicken and a big bunch of broccoli florets.

I love my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic Top Pressure Cooker 7.4-Quart that I ordered from Amazon.com. After reading a bunch of pressure cooker reviews, I decided to spend a little extra to get the one the New York Times described as the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers. Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss company. Pressure cookers are so popular in Switzerland that the average household has three!

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